Blurring Boundaries: The Chindian Identity Quest is about life experiences of the Malaysian Chindians. It captures the fundamental elements of ethnic identity development from the ethnic perspective of the Chindians and discusses it with academic vigor. It weaves into their daily live experiences, encounters, perceptions and emotions and analyses these to provide knowledge about the ethnic identity development of bi-ethnic Chindians in Malaysia. With knowledge comes understanding and with understanding eventually acceptance follows.
This book is a revelation of the lives of the Malaysian Chindians from an emic perspective. It delves into personal experiences, thoughts and emotions of 31 Chindian individuals who voluntarily participated in this research in an attempt to understand their ethnic identity development. Set against the backdrop of the Malaysian social landscape and the official administrative structures that exist, this book provides empirical evidence to shed light on the many erroneous assumptions often held about Chindians. The conceptual framework of this research was developed based on Cornell and Hartmann’s (1998) Constructionist Theory of Ethnic identity Development and Chaudhari and Pizzolato’s (2008) Model of Ethnic Identity Development. The research was based on the understanding that cultural and social Factors are integral to the process of ethnic identity development.
The analysis in this book is based on empirical data collated from 2012 to 2013. While pseudonyms have been used to protect the participants’ identity, the author sought special permission for photographs featured in this publication. The chapters cover the cultural and social factors inﬂuencing the development of ethnic identity among Chindians in the Malaysian context.
Throughout this book. the lives of the Chindian participants are aptly captured by the author, who manages to share relevant everyday life experiences. This is aimed at exploring how their ethnic identity has developed, with academic vigour while making it accessible to readers at large. It is hoped that this book will be of interest to bi-ethnic individuals, social scientists and engineers, anthropologists, sociologists.